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The Pope visits Liverpool in 1982
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Pope John Paul II visited Liverpool's two cathedrals in 1982

When Pope John Paul II visited Liverpool in 1982 more than a million people turned out to greet him.

As his helicopter landed at Speke Airport on May 30th 1982 it signalled the start of an historic day in Liverpool's history.

The Pope's eight mile route from the airport to Liverpool city centre was lined by over a million people.

Two thousand people attended a papal mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The entrance of the Pope into Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral was even more symbolic in a city which had once been split by religious tensions which had now almost disappeared under the leadership of Archbishop Worlock and the Right Reverend David Sheppard the city's Anglican bishop.

The visit almost didn't happen because of the Falkland's War which was taking place at the time.

Some nimble and delicate diplomacy by Liverpool Archbishop Derek Worlock saved the trip which many thought would be cancelled.

The Pope was greeted at Speke Airport by Lord Mayor Stanley Airey before making his way to the two cathedrals in a motorcade including the famous 'Popemobile'.

Security along the route was tight as only a year previously the Pope had survived an assassination attempt in St Peter's Square by a Turkish nationalist Mehmet Ali Agca.




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